Growers love light and hate energy spills. For Israeli greenhouse builder Azrom, this was the reason to take a closer look at the traditional greenhouse and redesign it to a better economical and ecological solution. In order to create the highest possible light transmission, while still incorporating better energy savings, they created a more efficient construction design and started to work with F-Clean cover material; a unique material that looks like standard plastic cover, but acts like a glass cover; it maintains its light transmission for more than 20 years. “Call it flexible glass.”
The F-clean application is a high end greenhouse covering material that was developed in Japan in 1980’s, explained Boyan Dulitz, product manager at Azrom. “It was developed especially for the Japanese greenhouse industry, after a series of earthquakes destroyed many glass greenhouses. The grower looked for a material with the same transmissions as glass, while it was as flexible as a poly cover at the same time.”
After Azrom greenhouses experts’ team investigated the global climate changes of the last decades around the globe, they concluded that they had to design a new greenhouses model that could support the future of greenhouses agriculture; the greenhouse industry is emerging worldwide and an increasing amount of countries are developing horticultural industries very fast. “We realized that the F-Clean application could contribute to this, and we designed the Eco Clima greenhouse structure specially for this application. It’s based on our knowledge from arched Gothic roofs. We adjusted our greenhouse models for F-clean application by designing new aluminum clamping profiles.”
The Eco Clima greenhouse claims to achieve a light transmission of 94% in clear application and 93% in diffuse application. “The Eco Clima greenhouse covering will stay stable in terms of light transmission and mechanical properties for more than 20 years,” said Boyan.
Boyan explained that the F-Clean cover cannot be compared to standard plastic cover. “It provides more light transmission, while it provides more energy saving capacities than a standard poly cover. The cover however is placed over the structure like a membrane. This can result in a theoretical energy saving of 38%. During the winter tests we found practical energy saving of 28%. This gives the Eco Clima an extremely short payback period, especially in places where relatively heavy heating is needed.”
If a double layer of F-clean is installed, the light transmission will be 88%. According to Boyan, this is equal to glass. “This results in the same energy savings of inflated Polyethylene.”
The new Eco Clima Gothic structure with F-Clean comes in multiple configurations. It’s possible to create wide structures. “Big volume greenhouses allow a lot of light to the crop, while they also generate extreme natural ventilation,” said Boyan.
Azrom will provide interested clients with specific energy calculations for the benefits of their Eco Clima greenhouse.